Vollertsen pulls away with a 71 Sunday for city championship.
By KEVIN THOMPSON
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Grant Vollertsen managed his golf weekend the same way he runs his dental practice — efficiently, with only a modicum of pain.
The local dentist captured his second Garden City Championship with a 1-under 71 at Buffalo Dunes Sunday to take the title by four strokes.
Coupled with his even-par 71 Saturday at The Golf Club at Southwind, Vollertsen's combined 142 beat out Sam Marlin's 146 and Sean Audrain's 147.
Vollertsen holed four birdies Sunday under ideal conditions, but his double bogey at No. 6 allowed Marlin to make up some ground.
Marlin started his round at 2-over, and went birdie-bogey-birdie on the first three holes, and he was just a shot out after Vollertsen's blip.
But Marlin bogeyed the par-four ninth, while Vollertsen birdied to take a four-stroke lead at the turn.
Marlin birdied the par-3 12th and finished with a birdie at 18, but a double-bogey seven at the par-5 16th all but sealed Vollertsen's win.
With a six-shot lead at the final hole, Vollertsen drove in the fairway just 100 yards out, but hit his approach shot just over the green, leading to a disappointing ending to an otherwise good tournament.
Marlin, meanwhile, drove the green to set up his birdie.
"I should have hit it to the middle of the green and two-putted and got out," Vollertsen, who first won the city championship in 2007, said. "It got up into the wind and flew over the green, and then I hit a poor chip. I hated to end on a bogey, but that's golf."
That slip wasn't as costly as his double on front side.
"I hit it right, in the hay, and then I chunked it out short of the bunker," he said. "It was sitting way up on top of the grass and I flipped it again in the bunker."
Another chunk led to a scramble 10-footer just to make double, Vollertsen said, and he felt grateful for that as it brought Marlin back into contention.
"It was back to game-on," he joked. "I definitely pulled the field even."
Overall, Vollertsen said he was pretty pleased with his round and very pleased with his even-par at a difficult Southwind course with high winds and heat.
"If it was going to blow, I'm glad it was on my home course," he said.
Vollertsen's Saturday had six birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey.
But his par-71 gave him the lead and a spot in the final foursome Sunday, an ideal position.
"In any tournament, your goal is to get yourself in that last group to where you can see where everybody stands," Vollertsen said.
His 1-under Sunday was the only round under par either day, a fact that did not go unnoticed.
"I knew the forecast for (Saturday) was tough and (Sunday) was nice, so I'm a little surprised that somebody didn't come at me, but looking at the score, nobody really came as nice as it was," he said.
Audrain, who won in 2009, started with a birdie on the first hole to tie Vollertsen, but took a double bogey on the next hole, while Vollertsen birdied for an early three-shot swing.
He finished with three more bogeys and just one more birdie for his final round 75.
Audrain felt mixed about his final round, especially with the weather as perfect as it was,
"Way better (Sunday). It was tough (Saturday)," he said. "I made a birdie to tie, then a careless double. I was just behind chasing all day."
He said he just played too aggressively and missed the fairway too often.
Audrain said he liked his positioning Saturday to put him into the final group.
"You have a chance that way," he said, "and that's what makes this fun."
Hunter Smith finished fourth at 148 and Daniel Gaspar fifth at 149.
Jim Claussen (151) placed sixth, and Brock Walter and Ross Geubelle (152) tied for seventh.
Jason Just and Juan Ollarzabal (153) tied for ninth.
Full flight results in Scoreboard, Page B2.